SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – As heads bowed in respect and hymns of honor filled the air, Spartanburg County showed admiration for their Vietnam War veterans on Wednesday. 

“That brotherhood and sisterhood built on war, built on service to your nation, is unlike any other,” said Craig Burnette, Vietnam veteran. 

Reflecting alongside those who also served is healing for veterans like Burnette. But as time is passing, he’s urging others to keep it going.

“We’re dying,” said Burnette. “I’m 76 years of age, I’ll be 77 in another month. As we’re passing away, I just want people to remember we served when we were asked, we did what we were told and regardless of how you felt about the war then, the war now or its outcome, remember the men and women that served our nation as a whole and how they represented us in the best way they knew possible.”

As all 56 names of the Spartanburg County Vietnam veterans being honored were read out loud, many in attendance were brought back to memories of their own service.

“When the Vietcong blew one of our army ranger helicopters out of the air, that was the first shock of my life seeing what the enemy could do and that was a wake up call,” said Robert Wood, Vietnam veteran.

Ceremonies like this one are reminders, not celebrations…something veterans like Burnette want others to remember.

“I tried and I did bring everybody back, some of them didn’t make it all the way back, but I guarantee you we did everything we could to make sure they made it all the way back,” said Burnette.

This was one of two reminders recited throughout the day, with veterans acknowledging the servicemen and women taking their places.

“Please don’t forget them and don’t forget their families,” said Burnette. “Honor them each and every day of your life.”